Ask A Pastor
By Pastor Scott Osenbaugh, The Healing Place (Nashville Assembly of God)
What is at the root of every terrorist attack anywhere in the world?
Okay, so that sounds like a simple, maybe understated answer, but in reality, it is the only answer. People with hatred in their hearts, with no fear of God, think they “must” go kill others in order to achieve whatever bloody version of world order they think is appropriate.
A recent headline told of an 11 year old girl who was stabbed by a Muslim immigrant who thought she was inappropriately dressed. That’s not a terrorist act, you might say. How about seeing it from that girl’s view, the terror in her heart as some guy comes up to her only to slash her because she didn’t meet his “standards” of attire. I suppose several pages in this paper could be filled with accounts of attacks, murders, explosions, beheadings, all of which could be rightly classified as a terrorist act.
Which then brings us to the oft-asked question of how Christians ought to act or respond in the face of this global rise in ideological violence. I must confess there is a struggle in me over this issue, since I am ex-military and occasionally think this is a time to give terrorists the fruit of what they have sown.
It really gets wearying to find out about another attack, children killed, fear widening, and people wondering when all this madness will stop. Diplomats do their negotiation thing, but the violence continues.
There will not be any stopping terrorism through political venues, and exercising a strong military option will not eradicate it either — just reduce it until new recruits can be brainwashed into believing such horrific acts are somehow honorable and needful.
Christians in other parts of the world have already paid for their faith with their own blood; they have been beheaded, locked into their church building and then burned to death when the building was ignited, blown up by suicide bombers posing as church members…and we in America try to breathe a nervous sigh of relief that it hasn’t really happened here.
Maybe the wording should be “it hasn’t happened here yet.” Instead of being laissez-faire on the possibility of terrorism directly hitting American churches, Christians should employ the one weapon they do have — intercessory prayer.
So many who identify as believers have no idea about the amount of power available when God’s people pray.
I have a strong feeling, which may or may not be specifically prophetic, that the growing encroachment of terrorism is brought to our attention by God as His clarion call for His people to stop being so apathetic, stop being religious and promoting self-seeking agendas, and pour themselves out in heart-wracking prayer, crying out for the mercy of God.
There’s no stopping any terrorist who would come to this community to do yet another despicable act of violence — unless God’s people decide it is time to put faith into action, calling out for God to be Deliverer and Warrior-King in our midst.